"China Lets Media Report on Air Pollution Crisis"

"BEIJING — The Chinese state news media on Monday published aggressive reports on what they described as the sickening and dangerous air pollution in Beijing and other parts of northern China, indicating that popular anger over air quality had reached a level where Communist Party propaganda officials felt that they had to allow the officially sanctioned press to address the growing concerns of ordinary citizens."

"The across-the-board coverage of Beijing’s brown, soupy air, which has been consistently rated “hazardous” or even worse by foreign and local monitors since last week, was the most open in recent memory. Since 2008, when Beijing made efforts to clean up the city before the Summer Olympics, the air has appeared to degrade in the view of many residents, though the official news media have often avoided addressing the problem.

The wide coverage on Monday appears to be in part a reaction to the conversation that has been unfolding on Chinese microblogs, where residents of northern China have been discussing the pollution nonstop in recent days."

Edward Wong reports for the New York Times January 14, 2013.
 

Source: NY Times, 01/15/2013